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Thread: Salary unpaid, company change of ownership

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    Salary unpaid, company change of ownership

    Good morning,

    I have been waiting for my salary payment since 13 June 2012. I was also informed only after a number of emails that the company had changed ownership.

    In other words, they are not paying me and they failed to inform me of the change of ownership when it happened. Furthermore I have not received the new contract as in effect under said new ownership.

    In email correspondence I notified them that I will withhold my services (writer) until I am paid. They have subsequently threatened me based on their definition of my 'non-performance' that I will be penalized for work not done while I await payment. They have also insulted my work and personal ethics, presumably as a means to get me to put my tail back between my legs.

    I am considering filing for unfair dismissal, although I have not resigned yet.

    I am clueless, please help.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    The change of ownership has no bearing on you. The new employer replaces the old, and the contract runs as before. The new employer must therefore claim from the old employer if the contract of sale made old employer liable.
    No work does mean No pay. This may lead to a standoff in that they may just accept this situation.(It may also be deemed a form of illegal strike)
    If you do resign and claim constructive dismissal be ware of the pitfalls of this claim, they are not easy, however where it relates to payment the constructive dismissal case is a bit easier to prove.

    Perhaps a letter setting out your unhappiness with the non-payment (which you understand is an issue of who is liable,) and that in the interim you will go about your business as per usual and as per your contract of employment, whilst attempting to resolve the outstanding money.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Dave A (29-Jun-12)

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    Thank you!

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    I can't see a reason that change of ownership can be reason to delay payment of salary, given you are employed by a company & not the owners (individual person). I presume you have an employment contract with the company? If so, that contract will set out the terms of employment and unless it makes provision for delays in payment of salary AND the company still exists in the original form regardless of ownership, the contract terms are binding.

    Caution though. If you wish to keep your legal rights intact you should not impair those rights by withholding or reneging on you employment responsibilites and duties in terms of the contract of employment. Rather ask them to indicate in writing to you by what date they intend paying you - i.e. give them a fair chance to make good on the companies breach.

    Of course if there is no contract in place then its open game and you must do whatever you can to create and advantage for yourself even if that means withholding something they need. Understand though that such action will inevitably destry any chance of continuing a working relationship into the future.

    You can't file for unfair dismissal until you have been dismissed but again, to strengthen your case do not renege on your contractual duties & responsibilities. Don't give them a reason to dismiss you and dont tempt or dare the company.

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    I'm with gac on this. Change of ownership has nothing to do with you. You are employed by the company and have a contract with the company. The fact that the shareholders of the company are changing should be irrelevant.

    Don't have any advice on what to do I'm afraid, but their excuse is not a valid one.

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    Thanks everyone,

    The thing is this: they said that they would pay me on the last working day of June after I had to send numerous emails requesting payment and/or a date to expect payment. Yesterday they said that they would only pay me about a quarter of my contract-agreed salary and I would only receive it by the 15th of July. At the moment I am furious and frustrated beyond what I ought to be but I have to live off of this money and I am just not getting it from them.

    The reason they have provided for the cut in my salary is that I did not meet the weekly task requirements, but there was no work to do during that time and my contract does not at all stipulate that my salary is dependent on how much work I do, simply that I do the work that I get assigned. Which I did meticulously until they continuously failed to pay me.

    If I am risking breach of contract by not doing more work for them fine, but did they not breach contract when they failed to pay me? And are they not seriously messing things up now by not wanting to pay me for yet another two weeks and that with a drastic cut in my agreed-upon salary?

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